Bloomberg Speaks on Bike Lanes

Mayoral pronouncements on bike policy are rather rare, so this Bloomberg quote buried at the end of a Daily News story on women’s public safety seemed worth pulling. The News reports that the mayor and Queens DOT Commissioner Maura McCarthy got a frosty reception out in the Rockaways when they mentioned plans for new bike lanes:

Bloomberg later admitted that the lanes drew strong reactions from supporters and opponents.

“Bicycle lanes are one of the more controversial things, obviously,” he said. “Some people love them and some people hate them. … It’s probably true that in many of these cases we could do a better job, and we’re going to try to do that.”

Just a reminder here: Bike projects all go through the standard community board process, and the new breed of separated lanes have been approved in those CB votes: Columbus Avenue, the East Side, Grand Street, Kent Avenue, Broadway, Eighth Avenue, Prospect Park West.

Also, the only piece of public opinion data we have about bike infrastructure is the Brad Lander/Steve Levin/CB 6 survey on the most attention-grabbing bike lane of them all — the PPW re-design — which found 71 percent support for keeping the lane among Park Slope residents. The PPW opponents are hard to ignore because they’re so well-connected, and they have a vociferous Borough President on their side, drumming up media attention. But the notoriety they’ve acquired in the press is out of all proportion to their actual numbers.

If you’re itching to show the mayor that the love for bike lanes and safer streets outweighs the hate, I think this is your best bet.

  • thrillingham

    It’s correct that the DOT follows all of the proper procedures, but clearly enough people do not get their information through the community board. I think that the contentiousness over bike lanes, which is on its face absurd, highlights the disconnect between new yorkers and local government. Everyone needs to do a better job. It’s a lot easier said than done, and in the meantime we have to make do with the system that we have (so the DOT should continue doing what they’re doing), but a these community outbursts (even if it’s just a small group of vocal people) should not be summarily dismissed.

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